Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For no apparent reason I decided to enter the Lancer in a local car show last weekend. All my attempts at breaking the car at 100AW were unsuccessul, so for once I had a straight, shiny car and nothing to do with it. The car show was the World of Wheels, a national traveling show, and the weather outside was horrible, so this indoor event was well attended (5000+people). I had a nice display with some examples of notes, and a TV playing tapes of my incar from OFPR '02. For the benefit of those thinking of showing their cars, or mining for info for sponsor presentations, here are some observations from the weekend:

1. The general consensus of the showgoers was that I'm insane. Of course this fact is alreay well known in the rally world, but it's nice to have it independantly verified. Oh yeah, Kim (my codriver), you're insane too.

2. People like incar. Lotsa people walked past the car, but were stopped by the TV. I'd highly reccommend some good quality incar for any display.

3. Little kids REALLY, REALLY like incar. I witnessed kids (both boys and girls) with ADD so bad that they couldn't complete a sentence, much less look at a car for more than 3 seconds. These kids would be tearing down the aisles screaming only to be stopped in their tracks by the TV. They would then spend the next ten minutes staring in silence at the screen until their parents finally dragged them away. I'm not sure they knew what they were watching, but they liked it.

3. Regardless of what you read in Sport Compact Car, the sport compact movement is only about 3 things; lower, chrome, and big stereos. It was pathetic really. Out of maybe 15 sport compact cars, mine was the only car with any meaningful performance mods whatsoever. Not even a drag car! What a bunch of posers.

4. I was asked a number of times what it was like to compete in Europe. Many people are familiar with rally through Speedvision, but still have no clue that it is done in North America. These people figured I flew the car to Europe or Australia once a month to race. Wow, if only it were true...... This tells me that the SCCA and/or Speed Channel are not doing a good enuf job promoting the sport.

5. Everybody thinks rally is cool, but most still have no idea how it works. Many people expressed frustration about watching the TV coverage, but not having a clue what was going on. I had a little impromptu pacenote presentation worked up, and 10 or 15 people would gather around to hear how the notes worked. After my little 3 minute spiel, the lightbuld would switch on, and the people would leave with a much greater understanding and respect for the sport. This tells me that the Producers of the TV shows need to spend more time on explaining the sport. They should dedicate a couple minutes of each show to explaining the rules/notes/etc... Yeah, it would take away a few minutes of footage for the 1000 hard core rally fans that read SS, but it would mean a lot to Joe Nascar Fan sittin' at home with his kids and a beer.

6. Rally isn't any more expensive than any other racing. There were circle track cars there (ashpalt and clay), off road cars, etc... and I found out we were all spending the same amount of money. That amount is all your discretionary income, plus a bit more the wife doesn't know about. Oh yeah, we all have the same problems with not enuf sponsorships, unresponsive sanctioning bodies, pesky day jobs, not enuf help, etc.... The grass isn't greener on the other side folks.

7. All those other race car drivers all admitted that rally was pretty cool, and they wanted to try it. So maybe the grass is greener...ON OUR SIDE!

So, all in all it was pretty fun weekend. Didn't pick up any new sponsors, but I did pick up some prospective team members. The car gathered a lot of interest from showgoers. People are interested, but they need to be educated. So get your cars out and show them off!! Drive em around, enter them in shows, bring em to schools. The public wants rally cars, it's up to us to give em to them.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
Thanks for the info Dennis. It has been my belief that it is a good idea to enter your car in a couple of shows a year. You may not have picked up any new sponsors that weekend, but I have to believe that the more people you put your car in front of, the more interested sponsors will be.
 

·
'is the engine bogging?'
Joined
·
429 Posts
My driver, Mike Hurst, also displayed his Group 5 car (the Mustang) here at the Indianapolis World of Wheels recently. It was part of an SCCA display along with an autocross car, and two road race cars (one open wheel, one not).

I stopped by to just say HI and stayed for 8 hours - MANY people stopped and asked about the car and rallying; many had seen SpeedVision rallying and were curious. Dennis, I have to echo your comments all the way...

Actually having a Mustang worked well at this show as the majority of the displayed cars were cruisers of some sort or detroit muscle cars. Out of the 100 or so cars less than 15 were imports. Heavy traffic at times meant there was always someone to talk too. Luckily Mike had made a quickie video tape with some of his footage as well as some WRC and British championship stuff - it really got attention.

I would swear that not a one had heard of the SCCA or knew that rallying was actually done in the U.S.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Dennis,

Excellent observations, you should send your comments to Speed and SCCA.

I do agree 100%, and I can give examples. When a did TSD's at my home country, some years ago, nobody knew anything about any kind of rally. Performance Rally was almost no existent with a pathetic calendar and no exposure whatsoever. The only thing similar that few people knew was the Paris-Dakar.

Well, after a long period of education the results are astonishing. I've been without any contact for couple of years. So, I checked last week to find out that they have now a great calendar, massive number of people is attending the races, the number of competitors healthily grew, and even Peugeot noticed it and started a 206 series with a full prepped car at, are you on your seat?, under $10K?!?! with full finance by the credit sister company. They sold all 22 cars for this year in 2 days, with several being bought in the first 15 minutes.

Again, congrats on taking up the opportunity.

Later,

CS
 

·
Left seat and not British!
Joined
·
785 Posts
OK...Co-Driver talking here....and management consultant for a day job.

What did it cost you to enter this car show? How about if PRB/PRD took some of the gazillions of dollars they get, or the manufacturers kicked in directly to support RALLY CARS IN PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS WITH VIDEO STUFF (like adding in the new SCCA recruiting video?)

We probably have 20 or so opportunities in the St. Louis area each year...some greater than others...but we don't have a car to show (unless we can talk Justin Pritchard's Mini into coming over from Ohio). A sad state of affairs...Maybe Paul Dunn would come down. But even my old 510's would not be particularly exciting....even when I get them finished...well maybe for other old farts!

People touching rally cars and talking to rallyists is how grassroots works. NASCAR works because everybody THINKS they're just like Bubba out there. Will it DIRECTLY produce sponsorship for you? Doubt it. Will it raise awareness and demand in the marketplace which in turn can have a tremendous effect on your ability to secure better sponsorship? You bet. And remember Dennis said he found some willing crew...anybody got too many helpers?

Kim DeMotte
Official Old Fart, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
Our experiences at the Minneapolis Auto Show were much like Dennis', although far more people in this area know about SCCA and that we rally in the US. They DID want to know more about how rallying works...the new one-hour format for the SCCA events should provide more time for such things. We always try to have route books along at shows, and video is a must.

Five years ago, people would come up to the rally car and ask, "What are all the lights for?" This year, a 7-year-old ran up and shouted to his little brother, "LOOK! RALLY CARS!" The TV exposure is working.

Kim, the manufacturers - Subaru in particular - put rally cars on display all over the country, but the real impact is when the DRIVER or CODRIVER of THIS CAR is there to talk about it...and he's just a local guy. Emily was a big hit at the auto show because she had codriven THIS CAR and knew JUST how fast it goes. Oh, yeah...she's 22 and female, too...

Bruce
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
At the Society of Women Engineers meeting last fall in Detroit, the Johnson's had their Neon on display and Juanita made a presentation about rallying as an engineering project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,368 Posts
WITH VIDEO STUFF (like adding in the
>new SCCA recruiting video?)
>

Are we talking about the Pat Summerall video? Who is the SCCA trying to attract with that? I'm sure Pat is a great guy, but who under the age of 45 knows who he is?

How about Vin Diesel? Jason Priestly? Scott Sharp?

People walk right by road race / SCCA video, but in-car rally video stopped 10,000 people dead in their tracks.

We had space for 4+ cars and electrical access, just inside the front door of the main pavillion for $200.

http://www.gaugemagazine.com/2003/march03/IndyWOW/pages/GaugeMagazine_IndyWOW_035.htm
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>OK...Co-Driver talking here....and management consultant for
>a day job.
>
>What did it cost you to enter this car show? How about if
>PRB/PRD took some of the gazillions of dollars they get, or
>the manufacturers kicked in directly to support RALLY CARS
>IN PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS WITH VIDEO STUFF (like adding in the
>new SCCA recruiting video?)
>
>Kim DeMotte
>Official Old Fart, etc.

It cost me $50 to enter the show, and along with that I get a free one year membership to the International Show Car Association (Yippee!). I also coughed up $125 to have the car detailed and polished, and another $30 for the electrical service at my display. Add food and what not and the weekend cost me about $200, plus my time. Not really chump change, but not to bad either, especially for the exposure. And oh yeah, IT WAS FUN! Sometimes talking about racing is almost as fun as actually doing it.

I wouldn't expect the SCCA to reimburse me for promoting MY team, and coincedentally the SCCA or ProRally. But I do think the manufacturers are missing some oppurtunities. Sure, Mitsu or Subaru can't have a team car at every local car show, but I'm sure they can find a privateer close by that would do it for a few bucks. Of the hundreds of people who inquired about my car and it's manufacturer, maybe less than a half dozen were aware that you could get something similar in the new Evo 8.

I agree with Bruce in that having the cars there is one thing, but having the drivers there is another. Most people were surprised to learn that I was the driver, and not just a team rep for the show. They see rally as this far off, big buck, fancy, professional sport. Kinda like CART or F1. I think we have a case where the myth somewhat exceeds reality. We should be trying to play off that myth to gain sponsorships, roads, and fans.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Loose nut behind the wheel
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
I have had similar experiences with one glaring exception. Last summer, we entered the Car Craft show at the Minnesota Fairgrounds. We were met with equal amounts of support and hatred. I unintentionally parked next to a pristine 69 Copo (I think) Camaro. The entire day we were on the receiving end of disdainful glances by the gold chain adorned owner.

This event is somewhat a closed venue cruise as many of the participants slowly circulate around the grounds during the day. When we did the same, we heard everything from "cool, a rally car" to "get that jap crap out of here you f**khead". Jason Metzgar suffered the brunt of it as he was nominated to drive the car out of the grounds at the end of the day. All I can say is it is only due to his calm management of the situation that we were able to leave the grounds with no significant damage/vandalism to the car.

That example aside, we have participated in many other functions including auto shows, cruises, church youth group meetings, Pinewood Derbys, etc. In fact, we are displaying the car this weekend at another Pinewood Derby. At these functions, we have been welcomed with open arms and wonderment.

My suggestion is do what you can to promote the sport where it will be welcome. However, be careful with your choices as some enthuiasts out there are significantly closeminded and potentially dangerous. I guess for Mr. Gold Chain I mentioned earlier, any activity that can't be won with a diaper and carnuba wax is a threat to the american way of life!:p

Mark Utecht
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
We (as RallySport Ontario) put two rally cars in the 2003 Toronto Auto Show at the Performance Racing News booth (thanks PRN), and had rally people help man the booth in shifts (since its a 10-day show. We've also managed, in previous years, to piggy-back with a manufacturer (Ford in 2002, Subaru in 2001, 2000). Dennis' observations are similar to what I've seen working the booth.

BTW. There were at least 12 rally cars in the Toronto show:

6 pseudo-vintage cars at the Targa Newfoundland booth
2 current cars at the PRN booth
(Sprongl's Evo, Reilly's Focus)
ACP's Evo at the Inside Track booth
Paynter's Subaru in its own little corner
The Prius at the Toyota booth
1 show car (Focus WRC) at the Ford booth

Adrian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Having displayed my car (as part of our SCCA Region display) at the Cleveland Auto Dealers show for ten days (700,000 paid attendance) and at the Custom Car Show in Cleveland (70,000 paid), the reaction to a rally car has been incredible.
In part due to the fact that SpeedVision is part of the basic cable package for the city and surrounding areas. It seemed that people were much more aware this year about rally, having seen the WRC coverage. When asked about events in the area, I could see the dissappointment that there weren't any events close by. Our region has just found a location for our first rallycross, plus enough room to expand to a rallysprint format, so hopefully we can get some more local exposure. I was able to make some good corporate contacts, in fact picking up a sponsor that wants me to display the car at several trade shows.
I used all my in-car video's,TV/VCR on the roof, plus a poster with photographs and spec charts for the car. I had my rally computer powered up with a small drycell battery, plus map lights in the car. Route books and stage notes also. To spice up the display, I play the in-car Manx rally tape,that ALWAYS draws a crowd.
At the Dealers show this past month, at one point we had 118 people in our booth at one time. We displayed four road race cars, an AutoX car, a TSD rally WRX, and my rally car (Ford Focus). Region volunteers manned the booth.
In my opinion, if looking for potential sponsors,you can't have too much exposure. I always use the show demographics in my sponsor proposals. Plus it gets me out of the house in the middle of winter.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Car Show Observations & the SCCA

At last year's Long Beach CART event, the SCCA had a huge display. They had cars from the various events sanctioned by the SCCA, expcept one. Thats right, no Rally Cars. I asked the person at the SCCA table, if they knew which type of car was missing in their display. They could not answer. After telling them it was Rally, they said, "Do you mean this?" and handed me a flyer from Rim. I said yes, and moved the stack of flyers for Rim to the front of the table.

A quick notice to LA area rallyist to provide a car would have responded with people fighting to provide a car. It is sad, that the SCAA in organizing their display never even thought of Rally. The SCCA missed an execelent opportunity to market their fastest growing event.

I wonder if it will happen again this year? The event is in a week and a half!

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
RE: Car Show Observations & the SCCA

What are the exact dates of the Long Beach thing? And will the SCCA have a booth there again? My car is on a transport heading to Mazda North American Operations HQ in Irvine right now to go on display. We may be able to get it across town to the Long Beach thing if I get some info and can get it to my truck driver.

In the past year, my car has been on display at Hot Import Nights in San Francisco, "100 Years of Ford Racing" celebration at Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village, Import Expo show in Chicago, Mazda R&D in Irvine, CA, Johnson Controls in Holland, MI, the Sachs booth at Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, IN, and I have done presentations at MTU (with Mark Utecht, Chris Whiteman, and Steve Gingras) and just did a presentation on rallying with the car at an SME dinner in Flint, MI. Future appearances this year will be at Kart2Kart in Detroit, Mazda's Woodhaven facility south of Detroit, and Ford's Centennial Celebration with the Tripoint World Challenge cars in Dearborn, MI.

Reaction has always been positive. I was a bit concerned at the "100 Years of Ford Racing" celebration. Drivers like Force, Junior Johnson, etc. were there and among all the stock cars, GT40's, etc., my car was the only Mazda. To my surprise, I was welcomed with open arms and got an intimate tour of a couple rally Escort RS1800s that were gorgious.

The Hi-Rev Tuners segment is from the Hot Import Nights show and provided more camera time than an entire season of actual rally coverage on Speedvision. So far the episode has been shown at least 6 times, too.

My goal at the Ford Centennial is to meet Beyonce Knowles.
http://www.celebrateford100.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
RE: Car Show Observations & the SCCA

I tend to stay away from the car show scene for my own reasons.

However, kids reactions are the best when they see the car.

In Chicago my 5 year old nephew notifies the entire school and neighborhood when Uncle Brian's "race car" is in town.

From just looking at the car to cheering on a 4wd burnout performed in the cul-da-sac (or however you spell it) kids reactions are the best. They can't lie and aren't afraid to loose there minds (just like me).

I burned a batch of CD's of all the internet rally videos that I have and had my Nephew's teacher hand them out.

Brian "Corrupting the youth of America....."

P.S....never tempt Uncle Brian to do a burnout.....
 

·
www.rallyanarchy.com
Joined
·
143 Posts
Yes, but it might prompt a visit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and/or Department of Homeland Security...}>

--Andrew
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top